Time Travel for Rank Amateurs

(Turn up your volume.)

red Mustang

One of the dangers of putting one’s iPod on “shuffle” on the way to work is that it can act like a time machine and will instantly transport one back in time.

That’s what happened to me this morning.  I got tired of listening to sports radio, so I switched over to my iPod.

Suddenly I was back in high school, driving my aged muscle car (’69 Mustang) through the humid morning air of the sleepy little Southern town I was growing up in.  The powerful 302 V8 engine (with illegal glass packs) roared loudly as I careened down the winding avenue on the way to school with the windows down (no air conditioning).  I had the radio on full blast (no tape player).  My out of control afro waved in the wind.  I was in faded bell-bottom jeans, earth shoes, and a skin tight T-shirt with some goofy logo on it.

What had the power to inflict these horrible fashion atrocities on me and to send me back in time so quickly?  Why … it was ….

Time Travel Link #1

As inscrutable as the lyrics were to this song, it was one of those rare songs that was in a key I could actually sing along with comfortably.  So, I’d fake my way through the cryptic lyrics so I could make it to the chorus, where I would sing along at full volume, making sure to let my voice get a little gravelly, just like Manfred’s.  I didn’t know what the other lyrics were or what they meant.  I didn’t care.  It got the adrenaline pumping.

Another classic gem from that era was:

Time Travel Link #2

Keep in mind that I only had a radio, so I had to listen to whatever was being broadcast.  I couldn’t fast forward to the next song or change tapes.  But this was another song that was roughly in my key, so I’d sing along at top volume.  This was the precursor to heavy metal and hair bands and passed for “edgy” music back then, though today it is just considered schmaltzy and campy.


Another example of the sort of stuff I’d be listening to as I was busy acting like someone growing up in the 1970s was this little gem.

Time Travel Link #3

The guitar hook in this song made me stomp on the accelerator, let another barrel of the carburetor kick in, and my head would snap back, the glass packs would let out a gawd-awful roar, and my mag-wheeled, wide tires could barely keep a grip on the dewy asphalt.  I almost always arrived at school sliding into a parking space sideways, the acrid smell of burning rubber drifting by me in clouds of white smoke.

Hot damn it felt good to be alive!

But the problem with time travel is that you always have to come back to your own time.




  1. Music can take me back to sights and smells and people memories in an instant. Thanks for the earworms.

    For what it’s worth, I always wondered why Manfred Mann’s two bigger hits were remakes of Springsteen’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure!

      And I didn’t realized “Blinded By the Light” was a Springsteen song until I googled the lyrics just before writing this blog post. I wasn’t a huge Springsteen fan, though I do like this song the way Manfred Mann performs it. The lyrics are just downright bizarre, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The band from link #3 was my first rock and roll concert (not that there’s been that many of them) and kicks in the time machine on overdrive. My wife’s never heard of them (but she wasn’t born in the USA). Link #1 reminds me of an album cover with an ear on it (waiter there’s a yawn in my ear.) Those guys had several good songs. I’m only slightly familiar with link #2.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved BTO, even though I never managed to acquire any of their albums. I heard on ATF one time back in the day that the reason he stuttered in the song was because he couldn’t hold a long note without going out of tune. And it became a signature sound!

      As for Sweet (Link #2), I only heard them occasionally back in the day, but I liked their music. It’s kind of campy now, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You had a classic ’69 Mustang while you were in high school? You were living the dream! Those songs took me back to my school days, too. After I shuddered a few times, I realized that much of the soundtrack from my high school years was pretty awful. Hell, I survived Disco!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I did, but it wasn’t a classic at the time. By the time a bought it (for the whopping sum about about $600), it was pushing ten years old and had seen better days. But, man, I sure loved that car! I babied it. I washed it once a week by hand and gave it a good hand-buffed wax about once a month. I was the shiniest car in the state! I sure wish I still had it.

      And, yes, I remember disco, too, though I was firmly in the “disco sucks!” crowd. I listened to what was considered hard rock back then, but is considered classic rock nowadays: Boston, Kansas, Rush, Styx, Pink Floyd, etc. I also loved Prog Rock (Yes, Moody Blues, etc.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lol! Yes, I had forgotten about that. I remember being amazed the first time I finally got to hear a song from start to finish. I also hated turning on the radio and hearing like the last 2 notes of my favorite song, because I knew it would be another couple of days before I heard it again.

      Liked by 1 person

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